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08/31/2007 - Northwest Medical Informatics Symposium Immanent

What’s new in health information technology? How will the projects and initiatives already underway in the Northwest integrate with regional and national initiatives? How can you get different people in diverse health care organizations to work together? The Northwest Medical Informatics Symposium (NMIS) September 13 and 14 will answer all those questions and more. Spokane’s Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) is a principal sponsor and has arranged an impressive lineup of national and regional speakers with expertise in medical informatics, many of whom have been on the front lines practicing medicine for years. The symposium is intended to provide a national context for regional health information technology initiatives and to bring current information on national and regional activities to members of the region’s health care system.

Newt Gingrich, Founder, Center of Health Transformation (and former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives) will deliver the keynote address. There are many other national speakers. For example: Mark Frisse, MD, MBA, MSc is the Accenture Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University. He is responsible for coordinating regional, state and national projects aimed at the application of information technology to advance patient care. Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD is chair of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. J. Marc Overhage, MD PhD professor Indiana University School of Medicine, is an expert in clinical decision support including inpatient and outpatient computerized physician order entry and the underlying knowledge bases to support them.

Health information technology isn’t as well accepted in other areas as it is in Spokane, according to Jac Davies, INHS conference manager. “Health care is one of the most important issues facing our country,” says Davies, “and technology is key to the solution. However, it is important to understand the technology, and how it can help.” Some of the new health information technology is unfamiliar to both physician and patient. There must also be an approval process in place for the technology being adopted, to be absolutely certain it works, in terms of medical transfer of records, privacy, security, and compliance with standards. Health technology is a big investment, and costs must be distributed carefully. All of this will be addressed at the symposium. Users will share best practices and success stories. Panelists will discuss the remaining difficulties.

NMIS attendees will include physicians, medical clinic staff, hospital administrators, public health officials, health insurers, and technology providers and staff. At least three hundred people are expected. The symposium will be Thursday, September 13 and Friday, September 14 at the Davenport Hotel. Space is limited. Pre-registrations will be accepted until September 5. To register on-line, visit www.nmis.info or telephone (509) 232-8158 or 1 (888) 258-9632 for more information.

Billie Moreland
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